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I have been reading your site for a long time and it is refreshing to see how you have the endurance to keep on defending your stance to all these ignorant people. I think you manage to communicate the point of atheism to people very well.
However, recently you have been stuck with the concept of enjoying heaven while your brother burns. It is an interesting though and it is even more interesting that not a single one of the christians you have confronted with this thought have managed to present any countering arguments. I must tell you that this concept is not that new one, though.
In the past I also have confronted my believing friends with this dilemma and I am fortunate enough to have friends who actually can think for themselves. They freely admitted to me that they find it terrible that their brothers and sisters will burn in hell and that it will be awful for them to be in heaven while their friends are not. But in their opinion there is nothing we can do about what God is going to do, so they have to choose between two shitty deals: Burn in hell or choose salvation while your brother burns. These believing friends of mine, they have chosen the salvation while thy brother burns -deal, because they think it is the better one. They don't think it is the ideal solution, but they believe that in this totalitarian system of God, there are no other solutions.
It's the self-preservation instinct Bob. These people fear death and hell, so they choose heaven, whatever the price.
I got to conclude with this thought: Often people claim that the worldview ot atheism is bleak and hopeless, but in my opinion, it seems it is the worldview of christianity that is the bleak and hopeless one, if you truly understand the deep meaning of christian dogma.
|“What is this dress up Jesus deal?”
What is this dress up Jesus deal? I'm 17 and know that's totally disrespectful...
I'd be more than happy to give you an explanation, Amanda. Please, have a listen.
The "deal" with my dress up Jesus game is my complete and utter disbelief that I can ever have any sort of heaven while others burn in hell. I'm sorry Amanda, but I am unable to go and experience paradise while human beings suffer eternal pain and anguish simply because they didn't believe in the bible. It's more than my heart can bear. And it's certainly enough to ruin any sort of "heaven" God's promising' is waiting for me.
So, with that said, it wasn't hard for me to conclude that there are only a couple answers to this problem. Number one, maybe God wipes our minds of this knowledge once we get into heaven? Maybe He cleans our heads of the relationships we've had here on earth, stripping it free of the memories we accumulated of friends, family, aquaintences, even Joe the shoe salesman, or that vacationer I met in Cancun 15 summers ago. All of those human beings erased from my mind so that I don't have to spend a minute in heavenly bliss mourning their infinity of unbearable screams of heartache that never reach the surface of an ocean of blood.
That's one solution to the problem. The only other solution that I can think of after that one is this, Amanda. There is no heaven or hell. It's all make-believe. And Jesus, Satan, the talking snake in Eden, Noah's Ark, Christ rising from the dead, it's all lies. It's all make-believe hogwash that doesn't exist, and never has. That's what "the deal" is with my Jesus Dress Up game. And it seems every time I present this issue to another complaining "believer" they never answer the riddle I put forth. They run from it as if it doesn't exist. As if I DO NOT exist! It's very unimpressive to see Christians behaving in such a way. Especially one's who ASK for it. But I guess it shouldn't surprise me any, because I suppose that's the type of person you have to be to if you can smile in paradise while your human brothers and sisters burn.
|“I've learned, however, that God does not send or 'banish' anyone to hell. We choose to go by refusing to accept his help and his way of escape.”
I completely know where you're coming from.
I want to apologize on behalf of all the Christians who fail to give you the answers you're searching for, all the Christians who fail to be the light they were created to be. Frankly I think it's pretty sad that people who claim to have the truth can't manage to defend what they believe.
I want you to know that all Christians aren't like that ~ that's not a very good representation of the Christian faith.
The 'answer to you riddle' is not a simple two sentence explanation.
I have thought along your same lines many times before. I have very close friends who are not saved, don't believe in the Bible, (or simply choose not to abide by it's teachings); and I have wondered how God can take such an awesome, loving person and not let them enter heaven - and actually banish them to Hell for all of eternity.
I've learned, however, that God does not send or 'banish' anyone to hell. We choose to go by refusing to accept his help and his way of escape.
Man, since the fall of Adam has been sinful; corrupting all that God created and living a life contradictory to what God instructed.
God, being perfect, and unable to lie, could not co-exist for eternity with a fallen mankind. The only result for us would be death - the only thing we deserve.
But God, out of His perfect love for us, robed himself in flesh and came to die for us - in our place - to atone for our sins, pay our debt and set us free from our inevitable and very deserving fate.
He offered himself in our place.
Think of it as someone running in to the courtroom of a criminal sentenced to death and offering himself to die in the criminals place.
That criminal committed a crime and consequences had to be paid.
There was nothing that criminal could do to escape the consequences of his actions.
He couldn't promise never to do it again, he couldn't promise to clean the judge's house and sweep the prison floors for the rest of his life, he was sentenced to death.
A price he had to pay.
But when someone offers to die in his place...the price will have been paid. The criminal would be a free man. Debt paid in full - done deal.
But if the criminal decides he doesn't need saving, or if, for some reason the criminal decides he believes he won't really be put to death and that there's really no such thing as an injection capable of taking his life, then there's nothing that other man can do.
The criminal will not accept his help.
We can't say then, that the free man 'sent' the criminal to die - the criminal got what he deserved, and when help was offered, he rejected it. Whether it was from pride, unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions, or a belief that what he did wasn't all that bad, the criminal refused an offer that would have set him free.
All that said, it is our job a Christians to tell as many people as we possibly can that someone has already taken their place.
God, manifest in flesh came and paid their debt in full ~ they've just got to act on his offer.
To me it's an awesome thing to think that the King of glory would come down from all of his majesty to die the most horrific way one could imagine so we wouldn't have to. He could have let us go meet our fate without any hope of salvation but he loves us with an unfathomable love - what an incredible, incredible thing.
I hope I've given you what you were looking for, or at least part of it....please e-mail me back and let me know what you think.
You have got to be kidding me. I have never heard such a load of BS. My question to you was, how can you smile, even for just a minute knowing that your FRIENDS are going to be tortured to the end of infinity (of which there is no end) while you bask in paradise? You did not answer my question at all! You did not say, "Their eternal suffering will not affect my paradise at all. I will think of their screams of agony and say to myself 'You asked for it, now let me get back to my everlasting picnic in the heavens!"
And do you actually think that your friends would rather suffer eternally? Is that where you actually think they're coming from? Or are you going to be honest with me, and yourself, and admit that they don't believe it all to be true. They are going to burn forever, Amanda! A never ending caldron of pain and anguish, while you are in heaven, with endless rewards for having chosen to believe the Bible. Answer my question! Are you actually capable of having a heaven while your friends burn?!!? FOREVER!?!?!?? You can answer Yes to this?? Seriously?? And if that is so, then you are despicable in my eyes. You are a horrible, heartless villain, and I want NOTHING to do with your "beliefs." They are revolting to the highest degree!
You know goddamn well that your friends aren't deserving of that fate. Reason it out however you want, your schoolyard peer doesn't deserve a never ending bath of fire, and only the most wicked among us could enjoy a heaven where that is the fate of a friend.
If you can't answer my question, then don't even email me back. It's revolting, your greed for paradise, enough to ignore their screams. To me your heaven is a hell all its own. Disgusting.
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